Ok, ok, I know it has been a loooooong time since I have written a decent post or review or anything on here, and I do appologise. I got very distacted by losing a bass player in my band and recruiting a replacent and training him up, plus I also did a short stint fronting a local band too. It has been winter here too, so the light has not been great, but I have still kept getting out to shoot as often as possible. I actually have much material to share with you all. I have had both my brothers and a mate from work all buy good cameras recently and take up photography. So it has been a very inspiring time.
My lens collecting addiction has certainly not gone away and neither has my passion for manual lens photography. I was also lucky enough to acquire two new digitals besides my Nex5 and KX for my birthday, a Nex5n and K30, but more on all this in a later article…
…For now, having taken time to reshuffle my priorities a little, I have had more time to get back to shooting more as of late and thus able to participate in more discussions about manual lenses. Recently while on one of my favorite forums, Manual Focus Lenses, I came across a post about a Petri 45mm f2.8. As I like to read about lenses, and having owned a 45mm f2.8 I clicked on the post and gave it a read. The lens pictured by the poster looked very similar to my Carenar 45mm f2.8, so I informed him of such and took a pic for comparison. They indeed do look identical, bar the brandings on the lens. We both now believe that this lens was produced by a third party. I already knew this about my Carenar as I had done research about it myself, however I was surprised to find an identical lens rebranded as Petri. I have only been able to find a little about the Carenar brand but have no idea as of yet who the manufacturer of this lens was, however I have been informed that this is in-fact a copy of the Carl Zeiss 45mm f2.8 Tessar, here is the little I know about the brand:
This is as much as I have been able to find about the Carenar brand to date:
Quelle is a german company selling by command from a catalogue but also has shops in bigger german towns. They also had a chain called Foto Quelle for photogear and film but after being big in the 70s (older photographers toldme they were really good shops concurring with specialised photodealers) and declining at the end of the 80s they were closed in the middle of the 90s. The Quelle shops (selling from clothes to household and electronics) were also in trouble in the last years but some of them still exist and even have a little department of photographic gear and film development service.
The catalogue selling business still flourish as far as I know. Interesting side note, after the german postal market was liberalised and the Deutsche Post lost his monopol situation Quelle opened his sending channels used before to deliver the products from the catalogue to everyone, not only customers. They were for long time (and still are) the cheapest method to send things around in Germany.
http://www.quelle.de/ (Oh… the site says Quelle was sold. Seem they couldn’t avoid bankrupcy.)
Quelle (or Foto Quelle) had two lines of inhouse brand cameras: Revue or Revueflex (SLRs) and Carena. The corresponding lenses were labeled Revuenon and Carenar.
Behind this two names they sold anything they could get from GDR (mostly Praktica but I believe also some compacts and some 6×6 or 6×4,5 box cameras), USSR (ZTM and M42 Zenits, LTM rangefinders, TLRs, compacts, etc.), China (mostly Seagull TLRs but folders also), Japan (different producers, not only Cosina and Chinon also “better” names) and even USA (especially Polaroid instant cameras).
I don’t know why the two lines. It seems to me that Carena was introduced later but did not replace the Revue/Revueflex line.
After agreeing that my Carenar lens did infact look identical to his Petri, the poster then asked me if I had any shots with the lens I could share. I said I would get him some. I knew I had some from when I first got the lens but they were average and rather old now, so I decided it was about time I went out for a decent shoot with this lens and give it a bit of a review.
Deciding where to go for a shoot in Perth is always the hardest thing for and Lisa and I. It always seems as if there is not much here, which I guess can be true… this kind of led us too our location for today. There used to be many more big Theme Parks in Perth back some 20 years ago, however over the years most had all gone bankrupt and are now laying in ruin. Quite sad actually, when the whole state is crying out for more entertainment…. but that is another story. We decided to drive up to Yanchep and have a look around the old Atlantis theme park ruins and see if we could get some shots. It turned out to be quite a nostalgic trip for me as I remember visiting the park as a child and having fond memories of the visit.
The lens is of manly plastic construction it feels. It does not feel poor or flimsy however, no, it actually feels rather sturdy. The lens is very light though, and rather short, like most 45mm I find can almost be qualified as a pancake lens. It seems to have a very smooth and short turn to the focus diaphram, thus I am thinking it could be very good for video. My copy is a little scuffed up on the outside, but optically is in great shape. These are actually a little rare to find on E-bay.
I am quite happy with the sharpness of this lens. For something that I took a punt on E-bay for, and for how light and plastic-y it feels, it takes some great pictures. Good colour, and the compactness of the lens with how light it is make it quite a comfortable fit on the Nex5n for a walk around prime. Having the 1.5X crop of the APS-C sensor in the Nex the real lens focal length of 45mm actually becomes about a 67.5mm effective focal length, which is still not too bad for a walk around length. It only focuses down to about 80cm so it is not particularly close focusing, but still adequate for most shooting. I have done some 100% crops for you to peruse. As with all my images, please click on them to view larger and sharper. These were all shot at about f5.6
How’s the Bokeh? Could be a little distracting by some peoples tastes…. but could be characteristic to others.
As you can see, good colour representation as well as sharpness, I did however have to boost the contrast a little to compensate for a little glow, so I believe the coatings may be a little old.
I like that this lens seems to represent some decent 3D pop, as is demonstrated in this pic of this old abandoned trolley.
All in all I think this lens is a decent pick-up if you can grab it for around $50-$80. However I am noticing a trend of increasing prices in the second hand manual lens market as more of us start to realise their true value. I think this lens represent decent band for buck if you can pick up a clean copy for a reasonable price. It is light, and smooth, is pretty sharp, has good colour representation, if a little low on contrast and has some nice 3D pop. All in all I have to say I quite like this lens and will have to pull it out more often. Bellow are some more pictures taken with this lens from the same outing.